If you haven’t already heard, The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch took place over the weekend. What a weekend it was! Thousands nationally took part in a spot of birdwatching, enabling the RSPB to monitor our much-loved feathered friends. The RSPB ask households to count the number of birds that they can see in their garden for just an hour across the long weekend. They then ask individuals to note down how many birds of different species they could see in their garden at any one time. Those taking part then submit their results for analysis!
Caring for the birds is a significant part of our environmental enthusiasm, so we are always glad when then RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch comes around. Our directors have always tried to make sure that Yellend Farm is a true home for the birds. The Price family have done this by investing in wildlife ponds and numerous native shrubs, in addition to feeders dotted about the site. Last year, Kate even put up numerous swallow nest boxes to give them a safe place to reside when they inevitably return this year!
Getting The Team Involved
While we’ve always encouraged our team to get involved, this year we wanted to do something a little bit different. To enable others to attract birds to their garden, we gave our team a ready to go birdfeeder! We filled the feeders with fat balls as these are often popular with garden birds – particularly in the cold winter months.
While the feeders were gifted with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in mind, we hope that the feeders will set the team up all year round to care for the birds as we do onsite. We were thrilled to see so many of our Sign Maker workforce taking part – it’s great to know that our passion for the environment is shared across the business.
Since getting back into the office, it has been great hearing how our team got on. From sparrows and starlings to nuthatches and robins – there have been some fantastic sightings both onsite at Yellend Farm and further afield.
Ange and Kirstie both took part with their children and sent us some wonderful pictures (both of the birds and the kids taking part). Millie’s family sat and watched tens of starlings enjoying a selection of fat balls, mixed seeds and peanuts (with the arrival of several pheasants just after the hour was up)! Caroline added her new feeder to existing feeders which caught the attention of several birds (and a hungry squirrel)! Kate and Poppy watched together – their most exciting spot being a family of long-tailed tits. Overall, it was a very successful bird watching weekend for everybody. We can’t wait to see what the RSPB make of the national results.
Why Do We Take Part?
The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is a fantastic way to gather information about the birds that we love. Since we began trading over 20 years ago, Kate and Shaun always had a vision that our site at The Sign Maker would be a wildlife haven. Being situated in rural North Devon, we believe that we have a responsibility to care for what is here. Furthermore, as North Devon Biosphere Business Partners, we feel compelled to invest in the nature around us.
The RSPB invest heavily into the natural world, something that we appreciate greatly. Finding small ways to support their work can make a real difference – particularly when it comes to gathering an overall picture of how nature is experiencing the current climate crisis. The first ever RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch took place over 40 years ago, and participation has grown ever since. This means that the RSPB now have extensive data that can indicate how birds are fairing year on year. Therefore, judgements can be made on how best to protect the birds for years to come.
Caring For The Birds Winter Into Spring
Being a bird in winter is tough! The harsh conditions can provide ongoing challenges throughout the season. The unpredictable British weather has not been entirely welcomed by the garden birds! So, what can we do to care for the birds as we transition from Winter to Spring?
Providing bird food is the most obvious suggestion. Keep your stations clean and consistant so that the birds know you to be a reliable source. We’d also advise ensuring that there is a fresh water source available too! Often, the most consistent water sources will freeze over – so they’ll be grateful to find some unfrozen in your garden. Bird shelters or sheltered feeding stations can also be appealing to birds in this season!
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